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California Home Sales Down for Fourth Straight Month

Phil Hall
Sep 17, 2018
Pending home sales ended 2018 in decline, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)

Sales of existing single-family homes in California totaled 399,600 in August on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate, down 1.8 percent from July and down 6.6 percent from August 2017, according to new data from the California Association of Realtors (CAR). This marked the fourth consecutive month that home sales were down across the state. On a regionwide, non-seasonally adjusted basis, the Southern California region led the state's sales decline, falling eight percent from a year ago.
But while sales were down, active listings were on the rise for the fifth consecutive month after 33 straight months of declines, increasing 17.2 percent from the previous year. August's listings increase was the biggest in nearly four years. CAR noted that the listings increase is primarily based on the greater number of lower-priced properties: the number of homes available for sale and priced below $750,000 grew more than twice as much as homes priced above that price level.
Not surprisingly, prices were also up: the statewide median home price last month was $596,410, up 0.8 percent from July and up 5.5 percent from August 2017.
"While home prices continued to rise modestly in August, the deceleration in price growth and the surge in housing supply suggest that a market shift is underway," said CAR Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. "We are seeing active listings increasing and more price reductions in the market, and as such, the question remains, 'How long will it take for the market to close the price expectation gap between buyers and sellers?'"

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